What I Read – January 2016

The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art

by Erwin Raphael McManus

The Most Important Work of Art Is the Life That We Create

In The Artisan Soul, Erwin Raphael McManus— author, thought leader, and founder of MOSAIC in Los Angeles—pens a manifesto for human creativity and the beginning of a new renaissance. McManus not only calls us to reclaim our creative essence but reveals how we can craft our lives into a work of art. There are no shortcuts to quality, and McManus celebrates the spiritual process that can help us discover our true selves.

I chose this as my first challenge book of the year. My mother challenged my siblings and I to read one business/personal development style book a month this year.

I think this The Artisan Soul is most powerful when he is sharing stories. It was very engaging in those sections. Sometimes the ideas meandered or where a bit repetitive from chapter to chapter, but overall there were some great inspirational thoughts in this book about how we all should be creating because we were created to do so. To leave that unfulfilled makes us less than we should be.

 

The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, Book 1)

by Robert Jordan

 

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

 

I finally decide to crack this nut again. After nearly 20 years with this series, it’s time to finish it. I started reading The Wheel of Time in 1998 after my grandfather loaned me this book. I had seen some kids at school reading this series, and my close friend highly recommended it. I devoured it, and subsequently bought every additional book in the series available at the time.

Robert Jordan died in 2007 before he could finish The Wheel of Time. I had mostly given up on it after that, since there were still at least 3 books remaining. His widow/editor found Brandon Sanderson, who I loved from the Mistborn series to wrap it up. They released the final, fourteenth book, A Memory of Light, in 2013. Since that time, I had been meaning to read through the series from the beginning and finish this incredible fantasy adventure.

I was initially worried about getting through this one since I felt really familiar with it. I have read it three times previously, but after diving in, I found myself engrossed as if I was reading it for the first time. There are so many details I had forgotten, even characters, and I really enjoyed coming back to this series as all my memories were refreshed.

It’s a bit daunting looking at the big stack of books left in front of me, but I plan to push through this with all haste!

The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, Book 2)

by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. For centuries, gleemen have told of The Great Hunt of the Horn. Now the Horn itself is found: the Horn of Valere long thought only legend, the Horn which will raise the dead heroes of the ages.

And it is stolen.

I am once again enthralled by these books. This one started a bit slow for me, and the Rand moments are frustrating at times because it feels like he and Perrin and Mat could just get over their misunderstandings very easily with a simple conversation. Still, the chase after the horn is exciting, Padan Fain is crazy as hell, and all of the world building, such as the portal stones and Seanchan invasion, really picks up.